News & Analysis

Dynasty rookie fantasy football rankings for 2020

The NFL Scouting Combine is here, so it’s time to set our first big board for 2020 rookie fantasy football rankings. We’ve already gone by position with an initial fantasy football scouting report for quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end. Now it’s time to put it all together into overall fantasy football rookie rankings. 

Keep in mind that we’re still very early in the process. Much can change in these rankings between now and the NFL Draft, and things may even change during the Combine. However, it’s important to have a full lay of the land with all of this year’s rookies before the draft. Comparing players on an even playing field will allow us to ultimately produce better fantasy football rankings after the draft happens. 

1. D'Andre Swift, Georgia – Showed he could create after contact with an average of 3.83 yards after contact per attempt in his college career.

2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama – Averaged 17.2 yards per catch and 7.3 yards after catch in his three seasons at Alabama.

3. Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma – He ranked fourth in the nation in yards per route run (3.99) this past season and finished his career north of 3.0 at 3.01.

4. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – Racked up 30 runs of 15-plus yards in 2019, which ranked second in the nation.

5. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State – Averaged 6.2 yards per carry and found the end zone a combined 43 times over the last three years.

Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins (2) in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

6. Tee Higgins, Clemson – Over the course of his career, Higgins saw an average depth of target of 16.11, which is one of the highest in this year’s class.

7. Zack Moss, Utah – Increased his yards after contact per attempt from 3.54 in 2018 to 4.45 in 2019.

8. Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado – Had a career 3.25 yards per route but was targeted an average of just 9.5 yards from the line of scrimmage.

9. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU – Forced 84 combined missed tackles and averaged a healthy 3.65 yards after contact per attempt in 2019.

10. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama – Scored a touchdown on 24 of his 98 career catches at Alabama.

11. Cam Akers, Florida State – Averaged 3.91 yards after contact per attempt and forced a combined 82 missed tackles.

12. Justin Jefferson, LSU – Moved to the slot in 2019 and proceeded to catch 82.8% of his targets and finished tied for the most receptions in the nation with 111.

13. Tyler Johnson, Minnesota – Excelled on contested balls with 39 catches on 76 career contested targets.

14. Joe Burrow, LSU – Posted a massive 5,671 yards and 60 touchdown passes in 2019. Also won the Heisman.

15. Michael Pittman Jr., USC – Committed only five drops in his college career.

16. Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty – Ranked third in the nation with 37 deep-ball targets last season.

17. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama – Threw a touchdown pass on 12.7% of his college throws, which actually trumps the 11.4% Burrow posted in 2019.

18. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State – Saw just 19 deep-ball targets but posted 384 yards on those targets (which ranked 38th in the nation).

Nov 24, 2018; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (2) catches a touchdown pass against the Arizona Wildcats in the first quarter during the Territorial Cup at Arizona Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

19. Jalen Reagor, TCU – Had seven drops on 50 catchable targets in 2019.

20. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt – Flashed upside in 2018 with 17 runs of 15-plus yards.

21. Eno Benjamin, Arizona State – Was one of the most elusive backs in the nation in 2018 with 99 combined forced missed tackles.

22. Hunter Bryant, Washington – His 18 deep-ball targets tied for the most in the nation, and he also tied for sixth in the nation in yards per route run (2.71).

23. Adam Trautman, Dayton – Posted the second-highest single-season grade (94.2) among tight ends in the PFF era (the highest grade came from Dallas Goedert (94.9) in 2017).

24. Justin Herbert, Oregon – Tossed 95 touchdown throws and over 10,000 passing yards in four years at Oregon.

25. KJ Hamler, Penn State – His career 2.23 yards per route run doesn’t really stand out, and he also dropped a massive 12 balls on 92 targets last season.

26. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina – A four-year starter with 234 receptions in his college career.

27. Brycen Hopkins, Purdue – Over his college career, Hopkins averaged over 7.0 yards after catch per reception

28. Harrison Bryant, FAU – Ranked second to Adam Trautman in targets (94) and receptions (65) and led the nation's tight ends in receiving yards with 1,004.

29. A.J. Dillon, Boston College – Despite his size, Dillon proved to be very elusive with 80 forced missed tackles as a runner and 3.48 yards after contact per attempt.

30. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame – Did very little in his first two seasons with the Irish but posted a solid 43 catches for 515 yards and six scores in 2019.

31. Jake Fromm, Georgia – Posted 78 passing scores while completing 63.3% of his throws.

Jan 1, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (11) signals at the line during the second quarter against the Baylor Bears at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

32. Anthony McFarland Jr., Maryland – His numbers took a big hit last year, but don’t read too much into them. He battle a high-ankle sprain during the season.

33. Denzel Mims, Baylor – Saw an average depth of target of 14.8 over his college career.

34. K.J. Hill, Ohio State – Slot receiver who posted an aDOT of 8.03 at the college level.

35. Michael Warren II, Cincinnati – Last year, he proved especially elusive with 75 forced missed tackles as a runner to go along with 15 runs of 15-plus yards.

36. Lamichal Perine, Florida – Forced just 31 missed tackles in 2019.

37. Jacob Eason, Washington – Flashed a big arm last season, tying for 23rd in the nation in deep ball attempts with 70.

38. Jordan Love, Utah State – Coming off a disappointing 2019 season having thrown 17 interceptions after posting just six in 2018.

39. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri – Saw 45 career contested targets and covered a solid 20 of them for catches.

40. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma – Has the potential to be a Tyrod Taylor-like fantasy option if he’s given the opportunity to start.

41. Thaddeus Moss, LSU – Played one season with LSU and was a big part of their success, posting 570 yards and four touchdowns.

42. Salvon Ahmed, Washington – His 3.47 yards after contact per attempt suggests he can create after contact, but his 57.8 elusive rating is one of the lowest in this year’s class.

43. DeeJay Dallas, Miami – Averaged a solid 5.8 yards per carry and 3.7 yards after contact per attempt over his career.

44. Patrick Taylor Jr., Memphis – Isn’t the most elusive back, with just 3.00 yards after contact per attempt over the last three seasons.

45. Omar Bayless, Arkansas State – Ranked second in the nation in receiving yards with 1,654.

46. Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State – Excelled in contested situations with 32 catches on 53 career contested targets.

47. LeVante Bellamy, Western Michigan – Tied for seventh in the nation in runs of 15-plus yards with 24.

48. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt – His breakout came two years later in 2018 when he posted 50 catches for 770 yards and seven scores.

49, Shea Patterson, Michigan – Completed just 56.2% of his passes in 2019.

50. Anthony  Gordon, Washington State – Put up 5,563 passing yards and 48 scores in the Air Raid offense last year.

51. Cheyenne O'Grady, Arkansas – His 12 career touchdowns was more than fellow Razorback tight ends Hunter Henry and Jeremy Sprinkle.

52. Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State – An explosive back who posted 22 runs of 15-plus yards in 2019.

53. Darius “Jet” Anderson, TCU – Showed elusive ability with 48 combined forced missed tackles and 3.89 yards after contact per attempt last season.

54. Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky – Scored 13 times as a runner and six as a receiver in his college career.

55. Cole McDonald, Hawai'i – Threw for over 8,000 yards and 69 passing scores over the last two seasons in the Hawai’i run-and-shoot offense

Sep 14, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Hawaii Warriors quarterback Cole McDonald (13) throws a pass against the Washington Huskies during the first quarter at Husky Stadium. Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

56. Devin Duvernay, Texas – Forced 23 missed tackles in 2019.

57. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan – His career 1.76 yards per route run doesn’t paint the most flattering picture.

58. Gabriel Davis, UCF – Posted a career aDOT of 15.46, which translates to downfield playmaking.

59. Benny LeMay, UNC-Charlotte – Topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of the last two seasons with 20 scores on the ground over that stretch.

60. Nate Stanley, Iowa – Failed to crack a 60% completion rate at the college level with a career rate of 58.3%.

61. Colby Parkinson, Stanford – Averaged a healthy 12.87 aDOT over the course of his college career but wasn’t the most efficient player on a per route basis, posting 1.41 yards per route run.

62. Antonio Gibson, Memphis – Touched the ball 38 times as a receiver and 33 as a runner last season.

63. Raymond Calais, Louisiana-Lafayette – Racked up over 51% of his 2019 rushing yards on 12 big-play runs that went for 15-plus yards.

64. Javon Leake, Maryland – Despite a thin workload, Leake flashed major upside with a career average of 7.9 yards per carry and 17 rushing scores.

65. J.J. Taylor, Arizona – Smaller back who posted 3,263 rushing yards over the last four years and caught 32 balls last season.

66. Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin – Caught 22-of-38 contested targets over his college career.

67. Devin Asiasi, UCLA – Only caught nine of 26 contested targets in his college career.

68. Charlie Taumoepeau, Portland State – Put up 1,876 yards on 117 catches at the college level. That’s a healthy 16.0 yards per catch.

69. Joshua Kelley, UCLA – Struggled to create on his own, with just 2.80 yards after contact per attempt and 42 forced missed tackles on 229 carries last season. 

70. Chase Claypool, Notre Dame – Found the end zone 13 times in 2019, but his career yards per route run of 1.79 is a tad on the low side.

Nov 16, 2019; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Chase Claypool (83) scores in the first quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium. Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

71. James Proche, SMU – Caught 301 balls for 3,949 yards and 39 scores while dropping just nine balls over the last four years.

72. Steven Montez, Colorado – Managed just 14 big-time throws last season.

73. Quartney Davis, Texas A&M – Has decent size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds), but only managed to convert 11-of-41 contested targets (26.8%) for catches in his college career.

74. Tony Jones Jr., Notre Dame – Lightly used until 2019 when he notched 169 touches.

75. John Hightower, Boise State – Showed the ability to make plays downfield with an average depth of target of 17.7 yards.

76. Van Jefferson, Florida – Maxed out with 49 catches in his freshman and senior seasons and posted a career-high of 657 yards last season.

77. Collin Johnson, Texas – His career 1.85 yards per route run is on the low side.

78. Jauan Jennings, Tennessee – Led all wide receivers with 30 forced missed tackles last year.

79. Jacob Breeland, Oregon – Posted 26 grabs for 405 yards and six scores in six games before getting hurt last year.

80. JaMycal Hasty, Baylor – Showed the ability to catch the ball, with at least 25 receptions in each of the last three years.

81. Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt – He only caught 10 balls that traveled at least 10 yards in the air last year.

82. Cody White, Michigan State – Coming off a career-best 922 receiving yards on 66 catches last season.

83. Aaron Fuller, Washington – Struggled in contested situations with just 14 catches on 43 career contested targets.

84. Scottie Phillips, Ole Miss – Didn’t create a lot of yards on his own, with a career average of just 3.08 yards after contact per attempt.

85. Marquez Callaway, Tennessee – Targeted a massive 17.15 yards downfield on average in college.

86. Stephen Sullivan, LSU – Played second fiddle to Thaddeus Moss in the LSU offense this past year.

87. Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati – Converted just 25% of his career contested targets for catches.

88. Darrell Stewart, Michigan State – Finished his career with just 1.65 yards per route run and an aDOT of 9.69.

89. Binjimen  Victor, Ohio State – Posted 18 touchdowns on just 83 career catches but was also well under 2.00 yards per route run at 1.72.

90. Aaron Parker, Rhode Island – Put up 3,460 yards and 30 touchdowns in his college career at the FCS level.

91. Joe Reed, Virginia – Posted a solid 7.18 YAC in college but also managed a lackluster 1.53 yards per route run.

Oct 26, 2019; Louisville, KY, USA; Virginia Cavaliers wide receiver Joe Reed (2) runs the ball during the second half of play against the Louisville Cardinals at Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated Virginia 28-21. Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

92. Sewo Olonilua, TCU – Only managed to average 4.0 yards per carry in 2019 and posted an uninspiring 19 forced missed tackles on 132 rushing attempts.

93. Stephen Guidry, Mississippi State – Saw an average depth of target of 17.51 but managed just 1.55 yards per route run in college.

94. Isaiah Coulter, Rhode Island – Small-schooler who put up 72 catches for 1,039 yards and eight scores last season.

95. Austin Mack, Ohio State – Targeted an average of 13.52 yards downfield but managed just 1.56 yards per route run in his college career.

96. Mitchell Wilcox, South Florida – Followed up his 43-catch 2018 season with just 28 receptions last year.

97. James Robinson, Illinois State – Forced 74 missed tackles last season, but that came on a massive 364 carries.

98. Quez Watkins, Mississippi State – Thin for his height at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds but did catch a respectable 26-of-58 contested targets in college.

99. Darnell Mooney, Tulane – Productive at Tulane with 2.2 yards per route run and 16.6 yards per reception.

100. Sean McKeon, Michigan – In three seasons as a starter, McKeon saw just 97 targets, catching 58 of them.

101. Rico Dowdle, South Carolina – Over his career, Dowdle averaged 5.0 yards per carry and 3.2 yards after contact per attempt.

102. Malcolm Perry, Navy – A quarterback for the Midshipmen, Perry will  test as a wideout.

103. Kendrick Rogers, Texas A&M – Managed just 1.15 yards per route run in college.

104. Juwan Johnson, Oregon – Posted 30 catches for 467 yards and a career-best four touchdowns in 2019.

105. K.J. Osborn, Miami – Efficiency numbers took a hit last season after he transferred to Miami, going from 16.8 yards per catch in 2018 to just 10.9 in 2019.

106. Lawrence Cager, Georgia – Targeted an average of 15.32 yards downfield, but managed a disappointing 1.83 yards per route run at Georgia.

107. Tyrie Cleveland, Florida – Has NFL size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) but was unable to make his mark at Florida, with just 79 catches over the last four years.

108. Brian Herrien, Georgia – Buried on a stacked Georgia depth chart for his entire career, Herrien saw just 277 carries in four years with the Bulldogs.

109. Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech – Targeted an average of just 5.43 yards from the line of scrimmage.

110. Dominick Wood-Anderson, Tennessee – Has a thin resume of just 38 catches in two seasons with the Volunteers.

111. Brian Lewerke, Michigan State – Never cracked a 60% completion rate in three years as a starter.

112. Trishton Jackson, Syracuse – Struggled in contested situations, with just 11 catches on 34 career contested targets.

113. Jeff Thomas, Miami – Finished his college career south of 2.00 yards per route run (1.79) and caught just 26% of his contested targets.

114. Chris Finke, Notre Dame – Undersized slot receiver who managed just 1.42 yards per route run at Notre Dame.

115. Dezmon Patmon, Washington State – Averaged 1.84 yards per route run and had an aDOT of 10.45.

116. Charlie Woerner, Georgia – Only caught 34 balls in four years at Georgia.

117. Freddie Swain, Florida – Averaged just 1.52 yards per route run and caught just 2-of-19 contested targets in his college career.

118. Tony Brown, Colorado – Managed just 1.18 yards per route run in his college career.

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